Saturday 1 December 2012

Persistance leads to victory

As you've been reading the past couple of months, you already know that airbrushing wasn't going that well. Two days ago, while playing House MD (the online Facebook game), I suddenly realized something. To keep it short : when treatment for an illness seems to work and then suddenly - without reason - makes it worse again, a new or unrelated symptom may be the underlying cause. If you've ever seen House, you know what I mean.

Anyhow, how does this relate to my problem?

At first, my problem was that, more often than not, no paint would come out of the airbrush. I overcame this problem by heavily thinning the paint, which seemed indeed to correct it. It seemed strange though, because the paint is supposed to be airbrush-ready. It's okay to thin it 10 to 20%, but not 100% like I was doing. For the submarine, which was primed in black, this seemed no problem, so I continued.

Still, sometimes the paint would stop flowing. More research led me to belief I was experiencing "tip-dry" (or "dry-tip", whatever the term is) : the tip of the needle was becoming covered with a layer of dry paint, which stops the paint from making it into the airflow. So I started regularly cleaning it with a cotton swab drenched in airbrush cleaner. This solved the problem, even though sometimes I had to do this every 30 seconds.

At this point, I should have realized that this may have been my problem right from the start, but I kept thinning my paint 1:1. If you've seen the interior of the Puma, primed in white, it's clear that the paint was thinned way too much because it ran down and pooled at the bottom. Later painting sessions left me with the same frustration : paint not covering well - especially the white one - and splattering everywhere except where I wanted it.

Now, 2 days ago, I realized I had treated the same problem in 2 different ways and maybe I should re-evaluate the first solution. So again I thinned the paint only 10-20% and performed a few tests. Preliminary results indicate I was thinking correctly. At last I was getting some decent coverage with the white primer. Continuing the lucky spree, I tested the grey primer again and this also yielded a nice coat of paint on the model. Not sure if it's the result of a) less thinning and b) regularly cleaning the needle tip, or the result of a dirty nozzle so many weeks ago, which was finally removed. (I gave the entire brush a thorough cleaning little over a week ago)

Anyway, happy airbrusher, signing off for now.

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